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BRIEF-Altria becomes significant shareholder in Anheuser-Busch InBev

Oct 11 Altria Group Inc

* Altria becomes significant shareholder in Anheuser-Busch InBev; revises 2016 full-year earnings guidance

* Altria Group Inc - expansion of its $1 billion share repurchase program to $3 billion to be completed by end of Q2 of 2018

* Altria Group Inc- revises 2016 full-year earnings per share (EPS) guidance to reflect reporting lag

* Altria Group Inc- Altria is receiving a total of approximately $5.3 billion in pre-tax cash

* Altria Group Inc - Altria revises its guidance for 2016 full-year adjusted diluted EPS from a range of $3.01 to $3.07 to a range of $2.98 to $3.04

* Altria Group Inc - Altria now owns 185.1 million restricted shares of Anheuser-Busch InBev, representing a 9.6% economic and voting interest

* Altria - expects to record total estimated pre-tax gain in its reported earnings of about $13.7 billion, or 4.55/share, all of which will be recorded in Q4

* Altria Group Inc says altria maintains its long-term financial goals of growing adjusted diluted EPS at an average annual rate of 7% to 9%

* Altria Group Inc - maintaining a target dividend payout ratio of approximately 80% of adjusted diluted EPS

* Altria Group Inc - will use equity method of accounting for its investment in Ab InBev

* FY2016 earnings per share view $3.05 -- Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S

* Altria - timing lag from accounting method change will not affect co's cash flows or quarterly dividends per share

* Altria - timing lag from accounting method change will impact year-over-year comparability of reported and adjusted diluted EPS in short-term Source text for Eikon: Further company coverage:

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